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Author: TMFBro Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 71415  
Subject: New battery, engine won't turn over Date: 8/31/2013 7:24 PM
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Howdy, folks.

We had some maintenance done on our 2004 Mazda MPV, and the repairfellow said the battery was weak. I decided to get one elsewhere (assuming I'd save some $), bought one at Advanced Auto Parts, and the friendly Advanced man attempted to do some battery swapping. However, one terminal was very corroded, so he got a new terminal and cable, did some splicing and dicing, added some electrical tape, and the engine started. So I drove home.

An hour later, the lights/windows/radio work, but the engine won't turn over. There's no clicking noise. I've posted a picture of the situation on Flikr, in case that helps (the red cable is the newcomer): http://www.flickr.com/photos/101051727@N05/9641393246/. As you'll notice, there's some red jelly-like substance and a circular felt-like circle under the terminal, which Mr. Advanced persuaded me to get. (As you can tell, I'm not a car guy.)

Any suggestions?

Many thanks,
Robert
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Author: devoish Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70295 of 71415
Subject: Re: New battery, engine won't turn over Date: 8/31/2013 9:28 PM
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Robert,

This answer assumes there was no starting problems or battery light or check engine light or alternator lights on before the maintenance work or your visit to Mr advanced.

Most likely the connection where Mr Advanced spliced the new cable to the old is not strong enough to conduct the 150 amps needed to crank the engine, but is strong enough to conduct the 20 - 30 amps needed to run the lights, etc.

It may be possible to start the car by gently re positioning the spliced area so the new and old wires make better contact and then trying the key.
If it works, it probably won't work more than once or twice so be ready to go back to visit Mr Advanced.

Splicing in a battery cable to an old one is a pretty uncommon repair. Replacing the end of the cable that clamps to the battery is common. Replacing the entire cable is a common repair.

it is also possible that your car is not in park/neutral, the anti-theft needs to be disarmed using the remote door lock opener on your keys or the new battery is defective.

Hope that helps,
Steven

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Author: NoIDAtAll Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70296 of 71415
Subject: Re: New battery, engine won't turn over Date: 8/31/2013 10:55 PM
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Most likely the connection where Mr Advanced spliced the new cable to the old is not strong enough to conduct the 150 amps needed to crank the engine, but is strong enough to conduct the 20 - 30 amps needed to run the lights, etc...

Splicing in a battery cable to an old one is a pretty uncommon repair. Replacing the end of the cable that clamps to the battery is common. Replacing the entire cable is a common repair.


The splice does look (is) very shade tree work.

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Author: TMFBro Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70297 of 71415
Subject: Re: New battery, engine won't turn over Date: 9/1/2013 11:18 AM
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Thanks for the input!

I disconnected the new cable and see that the existing cable has a lot of corrosion: http://www.flickr.com/photos/101051727@N05/9643641401/. So it seems that I should perhaps replace the entire battery cable? If so, how easy is that to do for a guy who's of moderate intelligence, exceptional dancing skills, but very little car-repair experience?

Thanks,
Robert

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Author: devoish Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70298 of 71415
Subject: Re: New battery, engine won't turn over Date: 9/1/2013 2:19 PM
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It can be tricky or very easy depending upon the routing of the cable.

Usually the positive cable routes from the positive battery terminal to the starter motor and to the underhood fuse box.
It is easier to do with a factory cable made to length. For the inexperienced buying one directly from the dealer is wiser and much more likely to route and fit easily and correctly. Trying a universal cable is what got Mr Advantage into trouble.
http://www.streetperformance.com/part/oes-genuine/battery-ca...
The cable in the link is purported to be for an MPV but... it does not seem to match your pictures exactly (I do not see two cables that come from the battery end in your pictures).
If you can see the routing to the end of the cable at the starter motor, and see where the fuse box gets its power and feel like you can feed the battery cable along the same way then give it a try.
Do the entire job with the other battery cable (the negative) disconnected from the battery and then reattach the negative cable last.

Steven

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Author: dbruce100 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 70299 of 71415
Subject: Re: New battery, engine won't turn over Date: 9/1/2013 2:28 PM
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I'm just amazed Mr Advanced connected the new cable to that mess.

I've had some badly corroded connections and just sanded them out and added conductive grease. If and when you get the car started, drive to a mechanic and get the wire fixed properly.

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